FIRST RACE – 38 degrees and “fast +0” throughout the card; the evening opens with a mild stretch headwind – which will swirl throughout the night … DASH OF DANGER moved outside raw at the 5/8, worked to the lead by early on the turn and had drawn clear by headstretch, kept to task mildly to
SECOND RACE – MAXI BON was three-wide to the first turn then took back, came out 5/16 and had to work to make the top going to curve two, kept at his task at a quick clip and won under a hold. NORTHERN ASSASSIN N was no better than sixth when the gate sprang, but because nobody showed high speed was able to force everybody behind him with his advantage of the pole, extended the winner a bit before yielding, far better than the rest. SUPREME MACH N was three-wide early, took a 4-spot past the 1/8, then came again first-up off turn two, no match for the top two but was good to beat out the others. GOTTA LOVE HIM sat in, was blocked on the turn, got to the Pocono Pike but couldn’t quite make third. IDEALBEACH HANOVER had to come three-deep around gapping cover and earned the last check. UF LARRY ALLTHEWAY never entered the main picture. SHINOBU HANOVER gapped second-over. EIGHTEEN left four-wide, went up to grab the pocket nearing the 26.1 quarter, tired at the ¾. ENERGY SHAKES didn’t show much energy tonight.
THIRD RACE – KEYSTONE ANGEL left and yielded at the 3/16, paused momentarily to the 5/8 as the horse in front of her broke, came out of that situation still third, uncovered 11/16 and with a strong move on the turn, lead early stretch and easily. BAMBINO SPEED had cover, ducked down into the Pocono Pike early stretch and finished rapidly to edge SHECHEATEDFORDEWEY for second. The latter was outside 3/16 to the lead to the 3/8, went on steadily, collared by headstretch. RUN FOR ROYALTY spotted fifth to the 3/16, started first-up into turn two, got to tuck second 5/8 as the pocketsitter broke, fair. STARR SAVANNAH had a bit of trot from far back under the wire. NO EXCUSES. ANGIE OVER gapped inside, then broke in the lane and went inside the pylons. CERSEI HANOVER got to the lead 3/16, pushed a foe to the 3/8 and yielded, then went offstride in the two-hole to the 5/8 and was taken inside the course.
FOURTH RACE – The wind is starting to shift to the opposite direction … MAJO JUST DO IT may not be the picture of pacing perfection, but he can close his fool head off – following YOU’RE MY HERO three-wide on the far turn, tipping four-deep, and (aided by the fractions) responding gamely to get the lead in deep stretch and hold on. WINBAK PRINCE sat in and was in a blindswitch late on the far turn, found a seam to split horses before early stretch and closed steadily to just take second over WHATAGAMBLE. The latter made the lead 3/16, rolled swiftly on the front end in this bottom claimer, almost carried his speed to the wire. HAPPY NEW YEAR pushed the 3/16 then sat the pocket, Pocono Pike, may have had any late foot blunted by the early action. YOU’RE MY HERO was behind dull cover then moved up quickly when that one ducked in, three-wide on the far turn, outkicked. U BELONG TO ME was three-wide to the first turn, tucked third, then came again uncovered off turn two, applied some pressure, then tired some. CAMTURO BEACH gapped second-over, ducked in in front of an inside gapper, fell back. JUST PLAIN LUCK tucked fourth, struggling before the 5/8.
FIFTH RACE – CHARLES VII left, took the early pocket 3/16, was boxed in from going into the second turn to coming out of the last one, swung wide and just was able to catch WHAT A PEACH. The latter was three-wide not quite to the 3/16, then two-wide not quite to the 3/8 before making the lead, had hard pressure down the backstretch, raced very gamely right to the line, just caught. DREAMSTEELER started an uncovered move going to the second turn, had a big fight with the leader in a 28.1 third quarter, stayed right in the middle of the fight to the wire. CALIPARI left from the inside, forced a tuck, then yielded in front of the stands to sit the pocket, gapped during the third quarter duel, Pocono Pike, not much late. DARK ROAST was second-over, gapped down the back, faded. ASHES CASH had just backed out to third-over just past the half when breaking.
SIXTH RACE – ADMIRAL was three-wide past the 1/8, then had cover to the 5/16 in a snappy opener, kept on going and took over 3/8, strong on the engine and ran away in the stretch. DEALMAKER was looped leaving, refused a hole and was out past the 27 opener to make the lead, yielded 3/8 for the pocket, not much kick the last 1/8. IDEAL LEGACY A came first-over from fourth before the 5/8, never reached the leader, won third in a four-way photo. V I P BAYAMA was far far behind most of the way but found a high gear on the final turn, stacked out widest and passed a lot of horses. MUNCHIE left between horses to the lead, yielded past the ¼, inside, not much in the stretch. SPIRIT OF TRUTH offered little. ANDREW LUCK and SEA VENTURE gapped outside; FITZ’S Z TAM gapped inside.
SEVENTH RACE – The wind is now almost a stretch tailwind … MISTER PHOTOGENIC landed the pocket early, moved 5/16 to the lead just past the 3/8, was pressed very hard down the backstretch and into the turn, then suddenly opened a large lead late on the turn into the stretch and maintained that advantage to the wire. MIDNIGHT ZETTE was up tight second-over, three-wide midturn, just up for second over SOUTHWIND LAREDO. The latter was three-wide to the 1/8 then got the lead shortly after that point, yielded to the winner, stayed close until mid-far turn, then like the others could no longer go with the winner. SORTIE HANOVER was fourth-over, four-wide in the stretch and finished well. TOOLBOX TUESDAY stayed in, got to the Pocono Pike and had advanced all the way up to second by midstretch, but there made a break and ran home. LG’S HOTSHOEBOY gapped third-over. SUPERIOR LAKE rushed up past the 3/8 and really put pressure on the leader, claiming a short lead a couple of times, then suddenly fell back late on the turn. RONDO broke at the 1/8. SIR LONGFELLOW was never close.
EIGHTH RACE – Flags almost limp for this race … GRIFFON HANOVER quickly made the lead, yielded for the pocket, was shuffled headstretch as the leader tired and may have fallen back as far as fourth, but then got to the Pocono Pike and responded instantly to get the win (the 29.4 last quarter didn’t hurt him either). BULLY PULPIT was third-over, three-wide before midturn, gained steadily but outkicked to the far inside. TAP INTO POWER spotted, then came raw into the clubhouse turn, didn’t reach the leader in the third quarter but then put on a burst that carried him on by later on the turn, held the lead a good while in the stretch. GINGER TREE CASH had good cover from far back, not quite enough late. PAWN SHOP JUNKIE fanned widest for the stretch and closed steadily. BRICKMAN was second-over, gapped on the far turn, then was shut off midstretch as he went on evenly as the pace slowed. SCIROCCO BLUE CHIP stayed in, shuffled late turn and never found a clear lane after angling early stretch. THE SMIDGE yielded, quarter-moved, set the pace, tired in the last 1/8. HEADFORTHEBEACH was never prominent.
NINTH RACE – WITCHITA took the pocket 3/16 and sat in the golden chair as the top two drew off on the turn, came out headstretch and outsprinted HAMMOCK BAY through the lane. The latter tried to take these coast-to-coast, passed past midstretch but held gamely in the late dash. WOFFIE WOFFIE sat third, couldn’t keep up ¾, did just hold third over SEE YOU FRIDAY. The latter was up near the gate nearing the start but decided to take back, came up the rail down the backstretch, outside headstretch, just missed third. OGDEN BLUE CHIP was backed up all the way to last, had to sweep four-wide half of the far turn and regained some good ground. OFFDAHOOK BLUECHIP never factored. YEAHBOYYEAH swung three-wide at the ¾ but couldn’t get into it. AMERICAN SCHNAPPS never got a call. MARVALOUS ARTIST gapped to the 3/8, outside raw into the backstretch but couldn’t reach contention, faded.
TENTH RACE – MUSCLE DIAMOND made the lead before the 1/8, stole a 30.3 second quarter, and that was all she wrote – 28 down the backstretch, then 27.4 home powerfully in a rocking-chair drive. MELADY’S MONET tucked fifth just past the 1/8, then was first-up into turn two, advanced from the 5/8 to midturn, then couldn’t stay with the winner but stayed game and went on to a good second. CRAZY ABOUT PAT left and got a pocket trip, not bad. FASHION CREDITOR was third-over behind a dull one, slipped inside after a foe broke midturn, next in line. DELCREST MASSY was three-wide to the first turn, tucked third 3/16, didn’t keep up from before the ¾. INUKCHUK CHUCK and JACKS TO OPEN were never in the hunt. B YOYO gapped second-over. BEE IN CHARGE was inside, trying to keep up when making a break to the ¾.
ELEVENTH RACE – WILBERFORCE left and settled into the pocket, came out early stretch, won with measuring tactics. VEGLIANTINO went right to the top and rolled down the road, bravely tried to fight off the winner, just short. LINDY’S BEST YET sat third-inside throughout, to the Pocono Pike and was well clear in third. REIGNINGBLACKSWAN left but took back and made the 5-spot 3/16, then was second-over, gapped a bit down the back, wide headstretch, OK. DRIVING MISS CRAZY was first-up just past the half, couldn’t sustain her third quarter gain. GWALLY gapped cover. KAYLA JADE gapped inside. BILLIE JO swung very wide into the stretch from far back but made a break. DEWEY DON’T CHEAT never settled inside, broke early on the clubhouse turn.
TWELFTH RACE – NEXT SUCCESS went a really sharp mile – right to the top, yielded for the pocket, vacated the two-hole 11/16 to have options, went three-wide to headstretch and gained into a 28.1 last quarter to handle this field in a fast time – may be capable of more in current form. OOH BAD BOY sat third, was able to go into pocket position when the winner moved outside 11/16, shot the Pocono Pike and had a brief advantage past midstretch but outkicked. MARINER SEELSTER, far back most of the way, “scraped paint” all the way up the inside in the deep Pocono Pike and finished well. TYLER THE TERROR was uncovered before turn two, really fought with the winner a long way in a 55.3 back half, held well. EASTEND EDDIE was wide, found his best strides belatedly. CROMBIE A was looped leaving, went on to the top 3/16, set the pace under fierce pressure from just past the half, faded. ALTA LEROY N was last, not clear in the stretch. MOONWRITER and MYSHARONA BLUECHIP were not factors off cover.
THIRTEENTH RACE – TOMY TERROR rode outside the duration, gapped cover slightly during the third quarter battle then tightened ¾, three-wide late turn, made the lead coming to midstretch, held off the inside thrust of R N NATE. The latter was out past a 26.3 quarter to make the lead, yielded 3/8, shuffled late turn when the pacesetter tired and came out in a blindswitch headstretch, then dove down into the Pocono Pike, just came up shy. EVEIL DUN CHAMPION left well and yielded, stayed in then followed the winner 5/8, wider than that one in the lane, finished OK+. MARTY MONKHOUSER A had the lead at the 1/8, fought in a fast quarter then surrendered past that mark, inside, angled to the lane behind the winner and gained well before being shut off nearing the wire. SOMETHINGINTHEWIND was four-wide leaving, had cover until the last of the pacesetter candidates grabbed the top 3/8, then pressed that one very hard the rest of the way, held solidly. HOLLYROCK HEYDEN got the rare “9o at the ¼ from PP1” call, followed cover, widest, OK. MOONLIGHT RANSOM gapped cover, ducked inside but had no room between horses, blocked the rest of the way in the slowing tempo. TRUE BLUE HALL left and yielded, pulled out 3/16 before SOMETHINGINTHEWIND and worked to the top 3/8, under severe pressure in demanding fractions, tired. STONEBRIDGE PEARL didn’t show much.
FOURTEENTH RACE – ANDOVER’S TOUCH got a good second-over trip, three-wide midturn, the strong horse late. GREY ICE left, made the top, forced a tuck, yielded, pocket, OK but not as much as the winner. MAGIC SPICE left, tucked, then backed out to third-over to the ¾, four-wide past midturn, found best strides a bit too late. SHE’S UNCORKED was first-up on turn two and battled the pacesetter down the back and through the turn, held respectably. EXPLOSIVE VICTORY sat in, got to angle to the lane behind the winner before midstretch, couldn’t generate enough speed quickly enough. KANDY KORN was left uncovered at the 1/8 and went on to the top at the
27.4 first quarter (last ¾ = 1:30.1), under pressure from the first over, tired. CHARGIN CADET gapped, backed outside but still gapped. BELIEVABLE broke past the half.